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Joseph Heller

The United States was entirely unprepared for the Six Day War despite the warnings Israel had sent to Washington. In May 1967, an American research group presented Walt Rostow with possible scenarios for a Middle East emergency, but too late, as the United States had not prepared itself for such an eventuality. On May 22, when contingency plans were reviewed, it became

in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
Joseph Heller

, while the Soviet Union was also dragged by its clients into deeper involvement than it had originally intended. In practice, the Soviet leadership led the region into war, while the United States did not do enough to curb the Soviets or to restrain the Arabs. Newly available documents illuminate to some extent the Soviet leadership’s confusion on the eve of the Six Day War and afterward. The most telling

in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
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German–Israeli relations, 1949–69
Author: Lorena De Vita

The rapprochement between Germany and Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust is one of the most striking political developments of the twentieth century. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently referred to it as a ‘miracle’. But how did this ‘miracle’ come about? Drawing upon sources from both sides of the Iron Curtain and of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Lorena De Vita traces the contradictions and dilemmas that shaped the making of German–Israeli relations at the outset of the global Cold War. Israelpolitik offers new insights not only into the history of German–Israeli relations, but also into the Cold War competition between the two German states, as each attempted to strengthen its position in the Middle East and the international arena while struggling with the legacy of the Nazi past.

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Joseph Heller

relationship,’ it came as a surprise. The reactor was particularly valuable to Israel, allowing it to ignore the dictates of its patron regarding its security in the face of the military build-up of its enemies. Only two years before the Six Day War, following Soviet attempts to deepen Soviet involvement in the Middle East, was the United States convinced to shift from being a suspicious economic patron to an

in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
A war of no compromises and compromises during war
Uriya Shavit and Ofir Winter

arrests in October 1954 and a socialist pan-Arab Egyptian president claimed absolute victory. In the thirteen years that followed, the Israeli–Arab conflict revolved around the charismatic Nasserist promise to eliminate the Zionist state. On the eve of the Six Day War, many in the Arab world were convinced that they would spend their next summer holiday on the beaches of Tel Aviv, a scenario that was also deemed possible by some Israelis. Persecuted, defeated and torn inwardly, the Egyptian Muslim Brothers became a minority voice in the coalition against Israel, which

in Zionism in Arab discourses
Joseph Heller

. What worried Israel was the danger of the establishment of an East European Communist-style popular democracy in Syria. However, on April 7, 1967, Israel downed seven Syrian planes, and the situation changed dramatically: the region was now hurtling toward the Six Day War. The Soviets attributed the incident to the forces of imperialism and extremist Israeli militarists. They quoted Rabin as having

in The United States, the Soviet Union and the Arab– Israeli conflict, 1948– 67
Uriya Shavit and Ofir Winter

liberal dependence on Western support and the need of Arab societies to focus on domestic affairs. The Jewish victory in 1948 did not undermine liberal belief that the original sin of Jewish sovereignty is imperialism, a belief that persisted after the Six Day War. From the 1970s onward a consensus developed in Arab liberal thought that demanded Israel’s withdrawal from the lands it had conquered in 1967 and a solution to the refugee problem. However, liberals were divided between those who believe that 104 Zionism in Arab discourses the narrative of uncompromising

in Zionism in Arab discourses
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Lorena De Vita

Israel the aggressor; 93 another pointed out that at least two of the workers at DIA Elektrotechnik – the chief accountant and the director of the contract handling office no less – had consulted Western media to gather a fuller picture of the onset and course of the war unfolding in the Near East. The two pointed to the fact that Israel was armed by the Federal Republic and the United States, while the Arabs by the Soviets, as the reason behind Israel’s military success. 94 East German military experts, too, looked at the Six Day War to extract lessons that had

in Israelpolitik
Robert Gildea and Olga Manojlović Pintar

narratives were forged by the national liberations of 1944–45, the onset of the Cold War and wars of decolonisation. These were challenged and modified by East–West détente after 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the events of 1968, the eruption of Holocaust memory in the 1970s and 1980s and the end of the Cold War which accelerated both globalisation and the rise of populist nationalism in post-Cold War Europe. The memory of transnational resistance, which for a long while was buried by these dominant narratives, gradually but unevenly broke once again into the public sphere

in Fighters across frontiers
Superpower rivalry
Author: Joseph Heller

Four questions stand before the historian of the cold war and the Arab-Israeli conflict: 1) Did Israel and the US have a 'special relationship'? 2) Were Soviet-Israeli relations destined for failure from 1948? 3) Was the Arab-Israeli conflict insoluble because of the cold war or in spite of it? 4)Was detente between the superpowers the key to solving the Arab-Israeli conflict? Israel failed to get a security guarantee from the US because if it were granted ally status the Arab states would turn to the Soviets. Instead of a security guarantee Kennedy used the nebulous term 'special relationship', which did not bind America politically or militarily. Relations with the USSR looked promising at first, but the Zionist ideology of the Jewish state made it inevitable that relations with would worsen , since the Kremlin rejected the notion that Soviet Jews were by definition part of the Jewish nation, and therefore candidates for emigration to Israel. As for the Arabs, they were adamant that the Palestinian refugees return en mass, which meant the destruction of of Israel. No compromise suggested by the US was acceptable to to the Arabs , who were always supported by the USSR.The Soviets demanded detente cover not only the Arab states and Israel, but Turkey and Iran as well. Consequently the Middle East remained a no-man's-land between the superpowers' spheres of influence, inexorably paving the way for the wars in 1956 and 1967.